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Drop Calls: Senate Goes After Telecom Services

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Senate Chamber

The Senate yesterday became furious over poor network by a telecommunication provider leading to massive dropped calls. The red chamber directed regulatory agencies in the country to ensure strict supervision of telecoms service providers for effective service delivery.

This followed the adoption of a motion presented to the floor of the senate by Sen. Buhari Abdulfatai (APC-Oyo) and co-sponsored by 34 others.

The Senate in its resolution expressed reservation over inefficient service delivery by GSM network providers in the country. 

According to the Senate, NCC must invoke appropriate provisions of the law including sanctions to protect consumers where necessary.

They also asked for refund to customers affected by frequent disrupted calls as a result of bad network.

The senate also urged them to carry out through investigation on causes of drop calls and come up with innovations that would help improve customers’ experience.

It also directed its committees on communications and trade, when constituted to further look into issues raised in the motion.

Speaking on the motion, Abdulfatai said Nigerians were experiencing a disturbing and yet increasing rate of dropped calls. He said telecoms customers were encountering in-comprehensive speech and voice quality that was unclear during phone conversations.

“Subscribers do not have the power to control bundle usage, nor have the choice to restrict browsing to the resources which they were allocated resulting in sudden and unexplained expiry of data bundle,” Abdulfatai said.

He said GSM operators in Nigeria had recently been experiencing terrible congestion on their networks, thus denying subscribers benefit of getting value for their resources.

He said in spite of warnings by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the unpleasant activities of drop calls, meant to defraud Nigerians, no serious sanctions had been taken against any operator.

He said no effort had been made to enhance the experience of telecoms customers.

He said investigations indicate that four major operators -MTN, Airtel, Etisalat and Globacom could not provide the rate of drop calls on their networks.

This, he said, showed that they were not ready to compensate customers for disconnected calls.

President of the senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, in his final submission said the 9th senate would do everything to protect Nigerians against exploitation by telecoms service providers.

He said the senate would not only bark but bite this time around.

According to him, the senate would conduct a public hearing on the matter where the regulator- NCC and the telecoms operators would be invited.

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